SXDNS: We have to start this interview mentioning that despite the fact we have been friends for quite some time now, it is a great privilege to have the opportunity of getting more familiar with your work and your career. And I am very sorry for kicking off asking you something so trivial: How did everything start? (we are talking about the universe here, what are your thoughts about the creation of the universe and all its impressive magnitude. Just kidding, of course, I just want to know what made you decide to become an artist).
BS: haha well, I do think the universe had something to say about it because it happened, but it was clearly not something I had ever considered, the “becoming an artist” thing…
It all started in 2015, I was 25 years old and had just graduated from business school. Although I had already been to a lot of festivals and clubs in Europe, collected records, and had a well-filled SoundCloud library, at that time I was on the look for my first job. But things did not go as planned and it took me 9 months to find it. After the second month, a hundred of applications, and the beginning of a depression, I decided to buy my first turntables. Something I had NEVER thought of doing before, even though I was already fascinated by DJs, but at this point I needed something to make me feel good in my life.
I started mixing every afternoon from there, and after a very short time I participated in a mix contest with a gig as the award. It turned out very surprisingly that I won, and I got my first gig in a bar. I remember it as quite catastrophic, but that
moment, the engine was launched! I finally left my job in 2019 to do music full time and it’s the best decision I took so far!
SXDNS: When it comes to your influences, who are the human beings who had the most impact in your life and sonority?
BS: I was lucky enough to grow up in an environment where there was always music in the house. My father is a guitarist, blues & rock fan, so he introduced me to all of his classics, which have clearly had a big influence on my musical choices. Every month we would go to the record store, and I was allowed to choose 2 records. That allowed me to build up a good collection and musical culture.
Regarding electronic music, it was the discovery of Miss Kittin’ and The Hacker during a concert where I was not supposed to be. I remember that I had driven an hour at the very last minute to join my friends at this concert in Grenoble, and I had no idea who I was going to see. Yet, it was going to be one of the most important concerts of my life! When the universe strikes again… You can probably feel the connection with my productions now, particularly the attachment that I put to the vocals.
SXDNS: Being brutally honest: I think your work as a producer is amid the best in the game. Even being so young, you have already developed a sonority of your own, resulting in not only creative but also bold tracks. What’s your process? And do you have a favourite work (of yours)? The one that when you finished you thought, “Oh yeah, baby, that’s it! Mama did this!”
BS: First of all, thank you very much for the words, it means a lot to me!
I don’t know if I really have a process, but I try to make music as often as possible. I’ve really stepped up my game in the last year and I can really see the difference, I’m practically making music every day, and I can see the progress I’ve made, in terms of technique, and refining my tastes too. I’m also able to produce more music than before. Choosing this career means making choices on a professional and personal level, which are not always easy, but I believe that being fully dedicated to it is the only way to make it.
I don’t really have a favourite, but I’m definitely happier with my recent productions. I also love working with other artists and always excited to know what it will be like.
SXDNS: And what about being a label boss: what are the good & bad sides about the job? And how Critical Monday started?
BS: What I really enjoy the most is the human side, being at the service of artists, being able to work with great producers, plus I can create my perfect playlist haha
From my point of view, there is no bad side, but like everything in life, it takes time, work, and energy to do things the best way possible.
It started in a really simple way, to release music that we felt wasn’t released on other labels. And what makes me proud is that I feel that I’ve managed to create a recognizable artistic direction over the years, which I think is the most important thing as a label manager.
Check the label catalogue HERE.
SXDNS: How is to be a female artist in your country? Any particular obstacle that you had to overcome – for the simple fact of being a woman – to achieve the recognition you have today? And internationally speaking, how do you see the nightlife industry attitude towards women? Do you feel the sexism and misogyny in the air?
BS: Thank you for asking this question. I didn’t feel any particular difference between the countries I played in. In a more general way, what I can say is that I wasn’t really a feminist at first, but I became one by working in this industry.
It’s really tiring to feel that in 2023 some people still think that the women who are there are there because they slept with someone or because it’s the trend now to have women in the line-ups! What does that mean? That if I’m playing it’s because I’m a woman and not because I’m talented, or because I work harder than most people?
I’m very happy that women are finally more present in the line-ups and let’s be honest, there have always been women, and there will always be women, so it would be better for everyone to deal with it. End of the story 🙂
SXDNS: End of the story, indeed! Now recommend us a good book.
BS: “Creating Your Best Life” by Caroline Adams Miller.
I read it 10 years ago and I’m reading it again at the moment. The aim is to set and accomplish life list goals and understand the link between goal accomplishment and happiness. And I can tell you that my goals are really different now than 10 years ago haha.
SXDNS: What is Indie Dance/Dark Disco to you? Do you like these nomenclatures? Would you label your sonority as such? If not, which genre would be more convenient to pigeonhole your music?
BS: It’s always complicated for me to put things in boxes in a general way, but it’s also necessary at some point. I feel like I don’t understand what Indie Dance is anymore. When I look at the top 100 Indie Dance on Beatport, it’s a mess! There is everything and anything… For me, Indie Dance, when I think of it, was a bit like the Pachanga Boys sound, also that strong Mexican or Tel Aviv influence in the style.
Regarding Dark Disco, for now I still recognize myself in this term, a mix between Rock, Disco, and Techno. I also think that this is clearly the orientation of Critical Monday.
SXDNS: What are the next steps on your music journey? Any future projects in the pipeline that you could anticipate for us?
BS: I’m going back to Mexico, touring for 3 weeks and I really look forward to it as I had such a great time when I was there last November. I have a few remixes coming up, an EP together with Franz Matthews, another collab with SNYL and I will continue to work on a lot of music so just stay tuned!
SXDNS: Looking very forward! =) And what are your hobbies? What does Bonnie like to make besides working with music?
BS: Music is a hobby that already takes up most of my time and leaves little room for anything else. But I like to cook, spend time with my friends and family, do sport, walk. Some simple little things 😉
SXDNS: The classic finale: Can you list your all-time top 5 favourite tracks?
BS: Not in the specific order but:
Miss Kittin, The Hacker – Frank Sinatra / For the reasons I mentioned above!
Metronomy – The Look / In love with the whole album, totally good vibes!
Jennifer Cardini & David Shaw – Pepper Labeija / Love the dark and sexy vibe of this one! I instantly want to dance!
Autarkic – I Know / Lot of different feelings come to me when I listen to that song… joy, nostalgia, sadness at some point. Masterpiece!
La Femme – Nous étions deux / Probably the band I listen to most when I’m not listening to electronic music. It always put me in a good mood!